When faculty members act with the intention of generating knowledge, then they conduct research. Research is not an accidental discovery or serendipity; rather, researchers tackle a question systematically. They document and publish newly gained insights, as well as new applications resulting from them. Publication of research results takes the form of academic work in specialist journals or of presentations at specialist conferences.
The University of St.Gallen conducts both basic and applied research. These two forms of research pursue different objectives: in basic research, researchers want to gain insights without having any specific application in mind. In applied research, the insights to be gained are geared to a specific practical benefit. However, this demarcation between insight and benefit is not always possible. Thus there is also an interaction between basic research and applied research: strong research partnerships with companies result in outstanding publications with international visibility, and at the same time, insight-oriented research can be channelled into applications.
The University of St.Gallen actively invests in basic research with the Basic Research Fund (BRF). This fund provides resources for research projects, for the preparation of applications for project funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the EU, as well as for young researchers' establishment of their own research profiles. The Basic Research Fund provides research funds to the tune of 4 million francs per annum.
"Strengthening strengths" is the motto of the University of St.Gallen when it comes to advancing to a top position in global research in selected fields. With the Global Centers set up for this purpose, the HSG wants to:
- provide essential impulses in research,
- attract internationally renowned researchers to the HSG and secure their loyalty,
- boost the quality of research and teaching in the relevant areas,
- further reinforce the University's international reputation,
- enable knowledge transfer and economic impact for the region.
The strategic research cooperation ventures with practice partners from trade and industry are also an expression of applied research. The six strategic cooperation ventures provide both young and experienced academics with attractive research conditions in the sense of direct knowledge transfer.